Football returns but not the same: New Covid-19 guidelines on display in Bundesliga

The football fans all around the globe were in for a treat after live action resumed on Saturday with Borussia Dortmund taking on Schalke in the first Bundesliga match in two months. But with the coronavirus restrictions and protocols in place, the football was not much the same as the fans remembered. There were no fans in the stadium, the football personnel were wearing gloves, and the goals were celebrated from far away.

Here is a look at some of the most noteworthy changes in football in the era of social distancing:

Haaland’s dance celebrations 

Erling Braut Haaland scored the first goal after the restart of action, but the celebrations were a quiet one. The 19-year-old, following the social distancing norms, cheekily danced on the sidelines.

Schalke’s substitutions

 As per the new rules, football teams are allowed to make five substitutions in the team. Schalke coach David Wagner became the first person to use the rule, using maximum substitutions against Dortmund.

Wide gap on benches 

While there were no fans in the stadium, the players on the bench were also seen sharing on alternate seats, and wearing protective masks, as per the social distancing norms required to be followed while playing contact sport.

RB Leipzig, with not enough room in the substitute area saw some players sitting at the stands above the pitch.

Dortmund ‘empty wall’ salute 

After a 4-0 win over Schalke, Dortmund, in place of saluting the fans in front of the “yellow wall”, went ahead and celebrated in front of an empty arena, with little noises and cheers all around, mostly from coaches and players.


The new rules also dictated that the there will be plexiglass to separate players and journalists during post-match interviews. The balls were also being regularly disinfected by personnel wearing gloves.

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